Hey everyone! I’m Chris Schmidt and I’m a Balance Designer on SimCity
. You may have read last week
that with Update 6 we will soon be making some changes to how RCI works. Our general goal with this update is to not only give more importance to Industrial zoning, but also make Industrial cities play a more important role in region play. In addition to this, we’re also creating more interdependence between the zoning categories.
First and foremost, we’re adding a profit dependence on freight deliveries to Commercial buildings. Commercial buildings have always received freight shipments, but now that need is greater. With Update 6, Industrial deliveries are crucial to keeping your Commercial buildings happy. Having no Industrial zones will decrease the happiness of Commercial buildings. If they wait too long for deliveries, they may go abandoned.
We’re choosing this approach primarily for the flexibility it provides players in their strategy for building up cities, even those previously built. Residential/Commercial only cities are still possible, but now they will require some strategic reworking, as players will have to either find freight from their neighbors or rely on low taxes to compensate for the lack of local industry. Don’t worry; you’ll have plenty of time to ensure that your existing cities can function properly with this new update, as the effects are not immediate.
In addition to this change, we are making some refinements to how your RCI bars behave and how underlying manufacturing and consumption work. The “I” and “C” bars will be more responsive. We’ve modified freight production to match more closely with Commercial needs, modified freight deliveries to go to Commercial buildings first, and removed freight consumption from buildings like power plants to make the demand bars clearer.
Along with this, power plants and buildings containing freight modules (trade depot, municipal airport, etc.) no longer increase your freight demand, so the demand bars will now be more accurate.
Those of you loading up old saves will notice that cities lacking in Industrial, either locally or from neighbors, will slowly see their Commercial districts become unhappy and eventually abandon from a lack of freight. This won’t happen right away, but it will mean that either you or your neighbor will eventually have to get their hands dirty manufacturing the freight that these cities need to keep going. It’s still possible to build a city with mostly Residential/Commercial if you lower your taxes and/or supply your freight from neighboring cities.
What this all means is that the game has just become a little more challenging, Industrial cities are much more important in region play, and the RCI bars will provide you with clearer direction on what zones you need. We’ll be releasing Update 6 in the coming weeks, so I’m looking forward to hearing what you think. These changes are currently on our Dev Test server and we are currently collecting feedback from our testers. In the meantime, however, you can leave your own feedback in our forums